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Simina BADEA


Simina BADEA


Craiova, 2014

Refereni tiinifici:
Prof. univ. dr. Ioana Murar
Lector univ. dr. Robert Bischin
Copyright 2014 Editura Universitaria
Toate drepturile sunt rezervate Editurii Universitaria.
Descrierea CIP a Bibliotecii Naionale a Romniei
Legal English : a practical approach / Badea Simina.
Craiova : Universitaria, 2014
ISBN 978-606-14-0862-7

Learning objectives:

In this unit, you will:

acquire the introductory notions to law (definition,
meanings of the terms law and right, functions of law,
definition of jurisprudence, types of law)
discover the Romanian equivalents of these terms
practise the relevant vocabulary by completing various
develop translation skills

Law and Right

In a general sense, the term law (R. drept) can be
defined as a body of official rules and regulations enforced by
a political authority in order to govern a society.
A law (R. lege) is a piece of enacted legislation.
Other definitions of law include:
1. the enforceable body of rules that govern any
society; 2. one of the rules making up the body of law, such as
an Act of Parliament . (Oxford Dictionary of Law)

1. the legislative pronouncement of rules to guide

ones actions in society; 2. the total of those rules of conduct
put in force by legislative authority or court decisions, or
established by local custom. (Barrons Dictionary of Legal
1. the regime that orders human activities and relations
through systematic application of the force of politically
organized society, or through social pressure, backed by force,
in such a society; the legal system; 2. the aggregate of
legislation, judicial precedents, and accepted legal principles;
the body of authoritative grounds of judicial and administrative
action; 3. the set of rules or principles dealing with a specific
area of a legal system; 4. the judicial and administrative
process; legal action and proceedings (...). (Blacks Law
It is important to distinguish between law and right,
since they can be both translated into Romanian as drept.
The definition of the term right can be formulated as
1. title to or an interest in any property; 2. any other
interest or privilege recognized and protected by law; 3.
freedom to exercise any power conferred by law. (Oxford
Dictionary of Law)
The answer to the question "What is law?" concerns an
entire field of study known as jurisprudence.
The term comes from Latin juris prudentia, meaning
the study, knowledge or science of law.
Scholars of jurisprudence or legal theorists raise
fundamental questions about law (questions such as What
should be prevalent, written rules and regulations or unwritten
principles derived from tradition, moral concepts, historical

practice?), seeking to analyze various branches of law, to

contrast it with other fields of knowledge, to offer deeper
insight into the nature of law, legal systems and institutions.
Jurisprudence also denotes the course of judicial
decisions, i.e. case law, as opposed to legislation.
Every society, every community that has ever existed
has recognized the need for rules, either in written or unwritten
form. These rules are essential if the community is to work,
they come into being in various forms. When some people
have the power, the authority to enforce a rule, it will acquire
the status of a law.
Word study
law s. = drept (ca tiin); lege
right s. = drept subiectiv (ca prerogativ a persoanei)
to enforce a law/rule = a pune n aplicare o lege/norm
enforceable adj. = executoriu; opozabil
to enact v.t. = a adopta, a legifera, a hotr
body of rules/laws= totalitatea normelor/reglementrilor/legilor
legislative pronouncement = concretizarea legislativ
to come/enter into force = a intra n vigoare
conduct s. = conduit, comportament
court s. = instan de judecat
to establish v.t. = a institui, a stabili, a nfiina
custom s. = cutum, obicei
judicial precedent = precedent judiciar
grounds s. = temeiuri, considerente
proceedings s. = proceduri
title s. = titlu, drept; document doveditor al unui drept
jurisprudence s. = jurispruden
prevalent adj. = predominant, preponderent
branch of law = ramur de drept

1.1. Translate into English:

1. Dreptul este o tiin, dar i o art.
2. Nu cunosc circumstanele de drept i de fapt ale cauzei.
3. Multe tribunale administrative nu au reguli privind dreptul
de a pleda.
4. Statele trebuie s asigure protecia mpotriva nclcrii
drepturilor omului.
5. Nu este suficient ca o lege s fie bun, ea trebuie aplicat
6. Dreptul se mparte pe ramuri: drept civil, drept penal, drept
constituional, drept administrativ etc.
7. Guvernul a introdus noi legi privind protecia mediului.
8. Studiul tiinific al dreptului se numete jurispruden.
9. Familia i coala trebuie s formeze ceteni care s respecte
10. Faptele sale au avut drept consecin pierderea drepturilor
You can use the following terms and phrases:
legal and factual issues/circumstances = circumstanele de
drept i de fapt
case s. = cauz
right of audience = dreptul de a pleda
to infringe a right = a nclca un drept
infringement s. = nclcare
to enforce a law = a aplica o lege
criminal law = drept penal
environmental protection = protecia mediului
law-abiding citizens = ceteni care respect legea
civil rights = drepturi civile


1.2. Choose the correct answer(s) and underline it

1. A right refers to:
a) a body of principles concerned with a typical area of a legal
b) a power, interest or privilege secured to a person and
protected by law;
c) a legally enforceable claim that another shall do or shall not
do a given act.
2. Law is defined as:
a) a body of rules and principles governing the affairs of a
community and enforced by a political authority;
b) the condition of social order and justice created by
adherence to such a system;
c) a piece of enacted legislation.
Functions of Law
Without laws, the world would be a total chaos,
therefore the primary function of law is to maintain stability.
There are many functions that law serves. For instance, laws
against crimes help to maintain a relatively stable society,
using sanctions as means by which the decisions of the courts
are enforced.
Law protects property and fosters the exchange of
goods and services in an economic society, also facilitating
business activities and voluntary agreements (contracts).
Despite the fact that law has always been influenced by
traditional ideas of right and wrong, it has also been used as an
innovating, though formal mechanism of social change and

control, protecting rights, inhibiting discrimination and

improving the quality of individual life.
Besides formal legal rules, there are other means of
social control and guides for behaviour such as mores,
morality, public opinion and custom or tradition.
1.3. Choose the correct answer(s):
Among the main functions of law, one can mention:
a) dispute resolution;
b) protection of property;
c) enforcement of moral precepts.
1.4. Fill in the blank spaces with derivatives from the
words in brackets:
1. The judicial function lies in the centre of any legal system,
mainly dealing with the of disputes. (adjudicate)
2. It ensures that the parties submit to adjudication. (dispute)
3. One of the functions of law is to prevent conduct. Law
also governs the relations between individuals, providing
facilities for private (desire, arrange)
4. Law is needed for the of disputes found in courts and
tribunals. (settle)
5. A law usually prohibits what is morally wrong and .
Therefore, the relationship of law to is crucial in order to
understand the law. (accept, moral)
6. Mores represent the accepted traditional customs and of a
particular social group. (use)
7. Violations of mores had as a consequence the ... of various
sanctions. (impose)
8. Public opinion refers to the public consensus, as with respect
to an issue or situation. It reflects the attitudes and ... of a group
of people with regard to issues concerning everybody. (prefer)

9. In spite of the defeat, the ... was still high. (moral)

10. We are not in the position to ... on his behaviour. (moral)
1.5. Fill in the blank spaces with the appropriate words:
MORES are the accepted social (1)... prescribing
behaviour of (2)... in society. They are part of the (3)...of a
people. When people violate mores, this (4)... to the imposition
of various (5)... such as (6)... or (7)... punishment.
(1) a) regulations; b) benefits; c) rules;
(2) a) convicts; b) individuals; c) officials;
(3) a) legal system; b) folkways; c) Civil Code;
(4) a) leads; b) prescribes; c) rules;
(5) a) sanctions; b) offences; c) penalty;
(6) a) death penalty; b) ostracism; c) court
(7) a) other kinds of; b) various; c) different.
PUBLIC OPINION is the voice of the people and it
thus mirrors the attitudes and (1)... of a population toward
(2)..., circumstances, and issues of (3)... interest. It is
characteristically (4)... by the (5)... survey or public opinion
(6)... .
(1) a) events; b) perspectives; c) horizons;
(2) a) politics; b) events; c) externalities;
(3) a) mutual; b) economic; c) legal;
(4) a) weighed; b) displayed; c) measured;
(5) a) sample; b) example; c) epitome;
(6) a) view; b) pool; c) poll.